November retail sales "picked up in a big way"

November retail sales "picked up in a big way"

Fashion and online were the success stories as November retail sales in the UK edged up 2.3% on last year, but only 0.6% on a like-for-like basis.

Pent-up demand from the warm autumn was highlighted as the main reason behind the growth in the figures from the BRC/KPMG Retail Sales Monitor, while online non-food sales increased by 16%, achieving a new record penetration rate of 19.9%.

“After a slow start, November growth picked up in a big way in the final week, when the one-month countdown to Christmas, coupled with falling temperatures, saw many of us making a start on seasonal spending,” said Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium.

“This trend was particularly evident on the non-food front, where clothing and footwear were star performers after a disappointing run of results, thanks to growing interest in winter clothes and partywear.”

BRC senior analyst Anne Alexandre said casual wear, dresses, knitwear and outerwear had sold particularly well during November, with a marked improvement for children’s wear and women’s wear.

Footwear was boosted by the continuation of several mid-season sales, then by colder weather favouring sales of boots at full price, said Alexandre.

The best segment was men’s, driven by sport styles and casual boots, with retailers with a larger range of boots faring particularly well.